Like most of the other prospects that have been offered by LSU this past week, Blake McClain didn't see it coming.
The defensive end out of Jacksonville, Fla., had only had sporadic contact form LSU — mostly through mail — so when he got his offer from Corey Raymond last week, it almost came out of nowhere.
"It was a surprise, because I didn't think I was going to get it from them anytime soon," McClain said. "I was just shocked to find out that I got that offer. It's a pretty big offer for me…I was just completely surprised altogether. I never expected it."
Because LSU is new on McClain's radar, he hasn't had much time to delve into what the program offers. But he said the defense's reputation speaks for itself, and he's looking forward to getting a personal look at what the school and campus has to offer.
"I don't know much, but I just know they're trying to rebuild on their defense coming up this year," McClain said. "That's mostly all I know…If I don't make it in the spring, I'm going to try and make it this summer, maybe for a camp or something."
The little that McClain does know has put LSU in a good position early for this big defensive end.
"They're definitely in the top five out of Florida, Florida State, Alabama and Auburn," he said.
McClain broke down what he knows about the other four schools he mentioned…
Florida: "The atmosphere there. I went to one game and the atmosphere of their games, with all the fans, is incredible."
Florida State: "The coaches, they accept me as part of their family, which is really good because when you go to college, you're away from your family and you'll start missing it. When you have people there that are treating you just like your family, it makes the transition process easier."
Alabama: "I don't know much about Alabama, but they're sitting there in the top five. I haven't given them much thought lately."
Auburn: "I just got the offer from them, so I don't know much about them either."
McClain said all four of those schools have offered him as a defensive end. He added that he hasn't spoken with the coaches about possibly moving to the inside, but all would like to add size to his already impressive 6-foot-4, 260-pound frame.
"They haven't brought up moving to DT, but they have talked about adding more weight, getting me up to 285," he said.
McClain said his recruitment has blown up since his junior season.
"It was an outstanding year for me," McClain said. "I feel like it put me on the map a little bit more. It jumpstarted the whole recruiting process for me…My footwork has gotten really good, and using my hands would be the strongpoint in my game."
McClain has two visits scheduled for the spring, planning to check out Florida State and North Carolina. He would like to put an early end to his recruitment, and said a decision could even come within a few months.
As for what he'll be looking for in a school…
"Definitely the academics and the family factor," McClain said. "I want them to accept me as part of their family."
McClain talks LSU offer and new top five
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